The selection for this year’s top 10 Christmas worship songs are rich in Messianic content. They are songs that evoke worthy praise and really bring the power and sentiment of Christmas alive. They are the kind of motivating music and lyrics that make you want to announce unashamedly to the crowd of anxious and busy shoppers that Christ the Savior is born and He will return! Hail the King of Heaven!
Top 10 Worship Songs for Your Christmas Sermon
1. Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel (John Mason Neale)
This beautiful lament pleading for the God of Heaven to come and free captive Israel combines tune, lyrics and sometimes strings to draw you into a longing for home, for Jesus’ physical presence and a strengthened desire for His return. The ending prayer:
“O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace.”
2. Mary Did You Know
Best presented as a special piece in Christmas worship, this contemplative and profound truth of God coming to earth as an infant is tenderly presented: “[Mary] when you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God”. That is why scripture says of Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42).
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3. What Child is this?
Humanity and divinity presented in this sweet chorus of the mid 19th century by William Chatterton Dix declares, “The King of kings salvation brings, let loving hearts enthrone Him. Joy, joy for Christ is born, the Babe, the Son of Mary.” I was moved by the introduction scripted across the screen of the music video for this song produced by the artist Elle Zamudio: “Herod who was the seed of the serpent, was determined to kill Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of God, the King and Savior of the world. But let me assure you all Herods fail.” Thank God for the victory!
4. Silent Night
The peace that passes all understanding is present because of the freedom from the curse afforded by our Messiah; this peace is savored in the each note and lyric in this gentle lullaby to the Savior. Listen to the group Pentatonix’ version of it—and be blessed.
5. O Holy Night
The word Holy defines God as totally “other”, separate and distinct from all His creation. The night He was born is separate and distinct from any other day in history; it can not be recreated. “Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices! O night divine, the night when Christ was born; O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!”
6. Joy to the World
Let earth receive her King! This jubilant piece announces the reason for celebration and the time to joyfully prepare for the coming of the rightful King who rules with truth and grace.
7. O Come All Ye Faithful
This Christmas take a journey in your mind and heart to Bethlehem. Acknowledge the profound truth of God humbling Himself and becoming human in order to redeem sinful man and to allow us to approach a holy God and have a relationship with Him. O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!
8. Jesus Messiah
The writer, Chris Tomlin, said of the lyrics to this song: “Messiah is such a strong name for Jesus. For when you use that name, you are truly saying that He is the name above all names–that He is the Christ, the Son of God, the Chosen One, the Savior of the world.”
9. O Little Town of Bethlehem
The odds of one man being able to fulfill all the messianic prophecies are astronomical! Yet Jesus, the God-man, fulfilled every one and was born in a humble stable in the tiny town of Bethlehem. The prophecy in Micah 5:2 states, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Hearing this classic over and over again during the Christmas season can effectively lessen the force of its potent meaning. Take the time to really listen to the words this Christmas so it is more than just a blur of lyrics strewn across a sentimental tune. “Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.”
There are so many other Christmas hymns that declare the Word made flesh. Take the time this busy season to quietly commune with the God of Heaven in worship and conversation. Experience true comfort and joy this holiday season as you prepare your hearts for the coming King!